Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳 Hokuto no Ken, lit. "Fist of the Big Dipper"), also known as Ken, the Great Bear Fist, is a Japanese manga series that was originally serialized from 1983 to 1988 in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, created by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson. The manga spans 245 chapters that were originally reprinted in 27 collected volumes (tankōbon) under the Jump Comics imprint.
Set in a post apocalyptic world where the Earth is barren and the strong survive by preying on the weak, the series follows the journey of Kenshiro, the 64th successor of Hokuto Shin Ken (北斗神拳 "Divine Fist of the North Star"), an ancient 1,800 year-old secret martial arts style that allows its practitioner to destroy an opponent's body from within by striking into their secret channeling points, often resulting in a violent and gruesome death. Kenshiro uses his skills to protect the weak and innocent against the numerous villains that threaten their survival.
Fist of the North Star was one of the Weekly Shōnen Jump's most popular titles during the 1980s. As of 2007, it is the seventh best-selling Shōnen Jump manga of all time in Japan. In a poll conducted by TV Asahi in 2005, the Fist of the North Star anime series ranked 26 in a list of Top 100 Anime series. In a second poll in 2006, it ranked No. 89. In a celebrity version of the poll, it ranked No. 15.
The two Hokuto no Ken one-shots were well-received in Fresh Jump's reader's survey and when Tetsuo Hara was commissioned to turn Hokuto no Ken into a weekly series, the task was reportedly too much for Hara to handle alone and manga writer Yoshiyuki Okamura (who worked on the series under the pen name of Buronson) was assigned to work with him. The storyline was completely revamped, with the present-day setting being discarded in favor of a Mad Max-inspired post apocalyptic future. The Taizanji Kenpo school were no longer the main antagonists and Kenshiro, originally a teenager, was now an adult with seven scars on his chest whose design was partly inspired by Bruce Lee.
Originally, Tetsuo Hara was contracted to do Fist of the North Star for a three-year run, but due to its popularity and the publisher's demand, it was extended to a five-year run.
Sequels and spinoffs
After the manga ended its run, Tetsuo Hara and Buronson wrote a novel based on the manga titled Cursed City (呪縛の街 Jubaku no Machi), published by Jump Books in Japan in 1996. It was adapted into a three-part OVA series titled New Fist of the North Star (新・北斗の拳 Shin Hokuto no Ken) in 2003. The story is set sometime after the conclusion of the manga.
In 2001, Tetsuo Hara began working on a Fist of the North Star prequel titled Fist of the Blue Sky (蒼天の拳 Sōten no Ken), which is currently serialized in Weekly Comic Bunch. Set during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1935, the story stars Hokuto Shinken predecessor and Kenshiro's namesake, Kenshiro Kasumi.
Following the theatrical release of the movie Raō Den Jun'ai no Sho in 2006, numerous Fist of the North Star spinoffs began to be published in the Weekly Comic Bunch and Big Comics Superior. This lineup of titles has been dubbed the Hokuto Gaiden (北斗外伝) series, as each title focuses on a major character from the franchise. The following titles had been published so far:
- The Conquering King of the Heavens: Fist of the North Star Raoh's Story (天の覇王 北斗の拳 ラオウ外伝 Ten no Haō - Hokuto no Ken Raō Gaiden) by Youkow Osada. - A series that was serialized in Weekly Comics Bunch featuring Reina and Souga from the Raoh Den movie. All 42 chapters (as well as a two-part epilogue published sometime after the series' conclusion) were collected in five tankobon volumes.
- Fist of the North Star Yuria's Story: The Merciful Mother Star (北斗の拳 ユリア外伝 慈母の星 Hokuto no Ken Yuria Gaiden - Jibo no Hoshi) by Akimi Kasai. Serialized at Big Comics Superior in three parts that ran from March 10 to April 14, 2006 and six subsequent chapters from March 9 to June 8, 2007. A single tankobon volume was released.
- Fist of the North Star: Rei Side Story (北斗の拳 レイ外伝 Hokuto no Ken Rei Gaiden) by Yasuyuki Nekoi - Rei Gaiden originally began as two separate one-shot stories that were published in the March 22 and December 8, 2006 issues of Weekly Comic Bunch. The one-shot version of the manga is subtitled The Magnificent Avenger (華麗なる復讐者 Kareinaru Fukushūsha). Rei Gaiden was picked up as an ongoing series, which began in the April 27, 2007 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch. The ongoing series was originally subtitled The Hungry Wolf Saga (餓狼編 Garō Hen), but has since been retitled Bloody Wolf's Darkness Blue (蒼黒の餓狼 Sōkoku no Garō, The Dark Blue Hungry Wolf).
- Fist of the North Star Ryūken's Story: The Judgement Day (北斗の拳 リュウケン外伝 －THE JUDGEMENT DAY－ Hokuto no Ken Ryūken Gaiden THE JUDGEMENT DAY), a one shot story by Hiromoto Sin-Ichi, published in the December 8, 2006 issue of Comic Bunch.
- The Silver Saint: Fist of the North Star Toki's Story (銀の聖者 北斗の拳 トキ外伝 Shirogane no Seija - Hokuto no Ken Toki Gaiden), a series by Yuka Nagate that begun serialization in the August 24, 2007 issue of Weekly Comic Bunch.
The prologue of Fist of the North Star informs us that the world was engaged in a global nuclear war in the year 199X. After the war, the earth's surface became devoid of vegetation, the seas evaporated and civilization was thrown into chaos, turning everyday life into a battle for supplies of uncontaminated food and water, where the strong survive by preying on the weak. However, one man vows to make a difference. Kenshiro is the 64th successor of the art of Hokuto Shinken, a deadly 1,800 year-old assassination style that is only passed down from one master to a chosen son. Kenshiro uses his skills and knowledge to protect the innocent from the bloodthirsty gangs that threaten their survival. Throughout the course of the series, Kenshiro meets several allies and rivals, most of whom are also trained in various martial arts styles
The first chapter serves to introduce Kenshiro and depicts his initial meeting with his two young sidekicks, Bat and Lin. The initial story arc then centers Kenshiro's quest to reclaim his fiancéé, Yuria, who was taken from him by old acquaintance called Shin, a master of the rival Nanto Koshu Ken (南斗孤鷲拳, "Lone Eagle Fist of the South Star") style. After the Shin arc, the manga began focusing around one-off arc-based villains such as the Golan, Jackal and the Fang Clan, although the story gradually shifts to Ken's search for his three adoptive brothers, who were trained in the Hokuto Shinken style under the same master but were not chosen to be successors. The eldest of the brothers, Raoh, becomes the primary antagonist and Ken's primary nemesis at this point, a conqueror who uses Hokuto Shinken to rule with tyranny. A major sub-plot is also introduced in the form of an internal conflict within the Nanto school between its six grand masters, the Nanto Roku Seiken (南斗六聖拳, "Six Sacred Fists of the South Star"), and the Hokuto brothers' involvement in it.
The death of Raoh marks the end of the first era of the series and the setting jumps several years, with Ken's sidekicks Bat and Lin having reached adulthood. Kenshiro returns to help Bat and Lin overthrow the evil Jakoh, a corrupt Governor General that has usurped the throne of the Heavenly Empress and is coercing the Gento Kōken (元斗皇拳, "Original Dipper Imperial Fist") masters to do his evil bidding. After Jakoh's defeat, Lin is kidnapped and taken overseas to the Land of Asura (修羅の国 Shura no Kuni), a war-torn nation now ruled by the three Rashō (羅将, General of Asura). The origins of the Hokuto brothers and the Hokuto Shinken style are revealed, as well as the existence of the forbidden Hokuto Ryūken (北斗琉拳, "North Star Gem Fist") style, a branch of the original Hokuto Family (北斗宗家 Hokuto Sōke) formed alongside with Hokuto Shinken.
After Kaioh's defeat, Raoh's son Ryu is introduced as Kenshiro's apprentice and possible successor to the Hokuto Shinken style. After Kenshiro restores order to the two neighbouring kingdoms of Sava and Blanca, the final chapter centers around the love triangle between Ken, Lin and Bat.
- See also: List of Hokuto no Ken characters
Fist of the North Star has a large ensemble of characters that has changed constantly during the series' original five-year run. Among the inhabitants of the post-apocalyptic world of Fist of the North Star includes martial artists, royal families, rebels, bandits and villagers that are merely attempting to survive a cruel, harsh world.
Although protagonist Kenshiro is the only truly permanent character from the series' inception up until the final chapter, his two sidekicks, Bat and Lin, have served as series' mainstays as well, introduced as a pair of orphaned children whom Kenshiro meets during the first chapter of the series and then growing up into rebel leaders and heroes in their own right.
Kenshiro encounters several rivals and allies throughout the course of the series, many of whom are affiliated with the martial arts schools featured in the series (see fighting styles section). The series initially focuses on two rival factions, the Hokuto Shinken school and the Nanto Seiken school. Shin, the successor of Nanto Koshu Ken , serves as Kenshiro's first major nemesis, being the man responsible for engraving the seven stab wounds on Kenshiro's chest and kidnapping his fiancee Yuria. After Shin's death, the authors would expand the storyline by introducing other Hokuto and Nanto disciples, namely the Nanto Roku Seiken and the four Hokuto brothers. A major recurring antagonist is introduced in the form of Raoh, the eldest of the four Hokuto brothers, who would become the series' most prominent villain.
After Raoh's death, the Gento Kōken fighters and their leader Falco would serve as reluctant adversaries of Kenshiro. Another group of antagonists are introduced with the fighters from the Land of Asura. Their ruler of Asura, Kaioh of the Hokuto Ryuken school, is the last major nemesis Kenshiro confronts in the series, although other villains appear after him in the manga.
Many of the characters in the series have since become stars of their own spinoff manga (see later works section).
- See also: List of fighting styles in Fist of the North Star
The primary fighting style depicted in Fist of the North Star is Hokuto Shinken, the style used by Kenshiro and his three adopted brothers. Hokuto Shinken relies primarily on 708 secret vital points on the human body that forms part of a fictional system known as the keiraku hikō (経絡秘孔, "secret channeling points"). By pushing into one of the hikō points, one can cause destruction into the enemy's body from within or even control their body against their own will. There are also beneficial hikō points that can be used to cure sickness or heal wounds, including restore a mute person's voice or a blind person's sight. In addition, the masters of Hokuto Shinken can tap into their body's full potential strength, whereas an average person only uses 30% of their strength.
The main rival style of Hokuto Shinken in the beginning of the series is Nanto Seiken, a style which is described as the polar opposite of Hokuto Shinken. In contrast to the Hokuto style, which uses the hikō points to cause destruction from within, the Nanto style specializes in stabbing and slicing techniques that penetrate the body from the outside and destroy everything in its path. Originally the style is used by Shin, the first major antagonist, but throughout the course of the series the existence of other branches of the Nanto Seiken are revealed, the six top branches being the Nanto Roku Seiken.
Two other major styles are introduced during the latter half of the series; Gento Kōken, a style which specializes in ki-based projectile attacks that destroy the enemy on a cellular level; and Hokuto Ryūken, a brother style of Hokuto Shinken which causes destruction through an opponent's keiraku hakō (経絡破孔, "destructive channeling points") and teaches its users to summon their "demonic aura" (魔闘気 matōki).
The original collected volumes or tankōbon of Hokuto no Ken were originally published under Shueisha's Jump Comics imprint and spans 27 volumes. During the 1990s, Shueisha reprinted Hokuto no Ken in 15 hardcover aizoban editions, as well as 15 corresponding economy-sized bunko editions. Most recently, it has republished in 31 Bunch World editions, 12 Tokuma Favorite Comics (renkanban) editions, 24 Raijin Collection editions (each volume containing a figurine) and 14 Kanzenban editions. The Kanzenban edition, published by Shogakukan under the Big Comics Selection imprint, features the original colored pages from the Weekly Shōnen Jump serialization. It has also been released in 27 pay-to-download e-book editions at eBook Japan. Coamix published the first four volumes of the colorized Hokuto no Ken: Master Edition in Japan.
Jump Comics volumes
The following are the titles of the original Jump Comics volumes, along with a rough English translation of each title and their original ISBN numbers.
|Vol.||Title||Release date|| ISBN|
|01||"A Cry from the Heart" (心の叫びの巻 Kokoro no Sakebi no Maki)||March 1984||ISBN 4088516613|
|02||"Execution of Demons" (悪魔の処刑！の巻 Akuma no Shokei no Maki)||June 1984||ISBN 4088516621|
|03||"Wrath! To the Edge of Hell!!" (怒り！地獄の果てまで!!の巻 Ikari! Jigoku no Hate made!! no Maki)||December 1984||ISBN 408851663X|
|04||"The Two Stars of Omen!" (ふたつの凶星！の巻 Futatsu no Kyōsei! no Maki)||January 1985||ISBN 4088516648|
|05||"Departing to a Death Match!" (死闘への旅だち！の巻 Shitō e no Tabidachi! no Maki)||March 1985||ISBN 4088516656|
|06||"A Tragic Reunion!" (悲劇の再会!!の巻 Higeki no Saikai! no Maki)||June 1985||ISBN 4088516664|
|07||"Sleeping in an Unmarked Grave" (眠れ 墓標なき墓に！の巻 Nemure Bohyōnaki Haka ni! no Maki)||September 1985||ISBN 4088516672|
|08||"A Moment of Life!" (今一瞬の命を！の巻 Ima Isshun no Inochi wo! no Maki)||November 1985||ISBN 4088516680|
|09||"The Red Fangs of the Enchantment Star!" (妖星の赤き牙！の巻 Yōsei no Akaki Kiba! no Maki)||January 1986||ISBN 4088516699|
|10||"The Monarch of Nanto!" (南斗の帝王！の巻 Nanto no Teiō! no Maki)||April 1986||ISBN 4088516702|
|11||"The Fist that Smashed the Heavens!" (天砕く拳!!の巻 Ten Kudaku Ken! no Maki)||July 1986||ISBN 4088516710|
|12||"The Distant Promise!" (遠い誓い！の巻 Tōi Chikai! no Maki)||September 1986||ISBN 4088516729|
|13||"The Rise of Nanto!!" (南斗ついに起つ!!の巻 Nanto Tsui ni Tatsu!! no Maki)||November 1986||ISBN 4088516737|
|14||"The Time Has Come!" (その時はきた！の巻 Sono Toki wa Kita! no Maki)||January 1987||ISBN 4088516745|
|15||"The Graceful Loser" (栄光ある敗者！の巻 Eikōaru Haisha! no Maki)||March 1987||ISBN 4088516753|
|16||"Roar of the Young Wolves!" (若き狼の叫び！の巻 Wakaki Ōkami no Sakebi! no Maki)||May 1987||ISBN 4088516761|
|17||"The Golden Assassin!" (黄金の刺客！の巻 Ōgon no Shikaku! no Maki)||July 1987||ISBN 408851677X|
|18||"The Two Empresses!" (ふたりの天帝！の巻 Futari no Tentei! no Maki)||September 1987||ISBN 4088516788|
|19||"The Mask of Ambition" (野望の仮面！の巻 Yabō no Kamen! no Maki)||November 1987||ISBN 4088516796|
|20||"The Legend of Raoh Lives! (ラオウ伝説走る！の巻 Raō Densetsu Hashiru! no Maki)||January 1988||ISBN 408851680X|
|21||"The Demon of Illusions!!" (幻影の魔人!!の巻 Gen'ei no Majin!! no Maki)||March 1988||ISBN 4088518241|
|22||"The Grave of the Gem Fist!!" (琉拳の墓場!!の巻 Ryūken no Hakaba!! no Maki)||May 1988||ISBN 408851825X|
|23||"The Conqueror's Will!" (覇王の遺言！の巻 Haō no Yuigon! no Maki)||July 1988||ISBN 4088518268|
|24||"The Hell Fire of Tenacity!" (執念の業火果つ！の巻 Shūnen no Gōka Hatsu! no Maki)||September 1988||ISBN 4088518276|
|25||"A Prologue to Death" (滅びの序章の巻き Horobi no Jōshō no Maki)||November 1988||ISBN 4088518284|
|26||"The Shadow of the Conqueror!" (覇王の影！の巻 Haō no Kage! no Maki)||January 1989||ISBN 4088518292|
|27||"Farewell to My Loved Ones..." (さらば愛しき者たちよ…の巻 Saraba Itoshikimono-tachi yo... no Maki)||March 1989||ISBN 4088518306|
The following are books related to the Hokuto no Ken series outside of the collected volumes.
- Hokuto no Ken Special: All About the Man (北斗の拳ＳＰＥＣＩＡＬ ＡＬＬ ＡＢＯＵＴ ＴＨＥ ＭＡＮ) - A special supplemental issue of the Weekly Shōnen Jump dedicated exclusively to the series. It contains a reprint of the Hokuto no Ken pilot, creator interviews and complete character biographies among other articles. Cover dated September 5, 1986.
- Tetsu no Don Quixote (鉄のドン・キホーテ Tetsu no Don Kihōte, "The Iron Don Quixote") - The second collected volume features reprints of the two Hokuto no Ken pilot episodes.
- ISBN 4420131098 (Volume 2, 1983 Jump Super Comics edition)
- ISBN 4420137673 (Volume 2, 1996 Jump Super Ace edition)
- Shōsetsu Hokuto no Ken: Jubaku no Machi (小説・北斗の拳―呪縛の街, "Fist of the North Star: The Novel - The Cursed City") - 1995 novel written by Tetsuo Hara and Buronson. The basis for the 2003 New Fist of the North Star OVA trilogy.
- ISBN 4087030547
- Hokuto no Ken Kyūkyoku Kaisetsusho: Sekimatsu Haō Retsuden (北斗の拳 究極解説書 世紀末覇王列伝, "The Ultimate Handbook to Fist of the North Star: History of the Century's End Conqueror) - A guide to the Hokuto no Ken series, which includes complete character biographies (mostly reprinted from All About the Man).
- ISBN 4834216845
- Hokuto no Ken 2000: Kyūkyoku Kaisetsusho Part 2 (北斗の拳2000 究極解説書 PART2, "Fist of the North Star 2000: The Ultimate Handbook Part 2") - A sequel to the above guide featuring a complete list of Hokuto Shinken techniques.
- ISBN 4834216853
- Boku-tachi no Sukina Hokuto no Ken (僕たちの好きな北斗の拳, "We Love Fist of the North Star") - An episode guide of the anime series.
- ISBN 479663035X (2002 edition)
- ISBN 4796658580 (2007 edition)
- Hokuto no Ken Kanzen Tokuhon (北斗の拳 完全読本, "The Complete Guide to Fist of the North Star") - A character guide based on the anime series.
- ISBN 4796640169 (2004 edition)
- ISBN 4796658564 (2007 edition)
- ISBN 4796669476 (2009 edition)
Two different companies attempted to translate the original Fist of the North Star manga for the English market, although both attempts failed to finish their run. VIZ Communications originally published the first sixteen chapters in eight monthly squarebound comic book issues (two/three chapters per issue) in 1989. Viz resumed publication of the series from 1995 to 1997, publishing the subsequent 28 chapters of the series in 18 monthly pamphlet-sized issues (each issue containing roughly one chapter and a half) divided into three "parts". Four graphic novel collections were published by Viz: Fist of the North Star, Night of the Jackal, Southern Cross and Blood Brothers. The Viz edition featured mirrored artwork, as was the standard with English translated manga at the time. Unfortunately, due to its age and a changing comic market more oriented towards T&A than mature violence[I.E. Gen 13], Fist was never really a hit with the company.
In 2003, Gutsoon! Entertainment began publishing a Master Edition of the series, large squarebound graphic novel installments (eight/nine chapters per volume) that were printed in high quality paper. In addition to sporting a revised translation and retaining the original right-to-left orientation, the Master Edition of the series also featured new CG coloring added to the original artwork. Gutsoon ceased publication of the series with Vol. 9 due to the company folding. While a significant accomplishment for an older title, the higher prices of the Master Editions-compared to other manga released around the same time-and the alleged non-female appeal of the series are believed to have made it a hard sell in the U.S. Ironically, however, more volumes of it were published domestically than its flashier and more female-oriented prequel. The license has yet to be picked up by another company.
|Volume||Viz Graphic Novel Title||Release date|| ISBN||Organization|
|01||Fist of the North Star||April 1995||ISBN 1569310319||Part 1, Issues 1-8 (Chapters 1-16)|
|02||Fist of the North Star:
Night of the Jackal
|September 1997||ISBN 1569311862||Part 2, Issues 1-7 (Chapters 17-27)|
|03||Fist of the North Star: Southern Cross||December 1997||ISBN 1569312001||Part 2, Issues 7-8|
Part 3, Issues 1-5 (Chapters 28-35)
|04||Fist of the North Star:
|May 1998||ISBN 1569312583||Part 4, Issues 1-7 (Chapters 36-44)|
Gutsoon! volumes (Master Edition)
|Volume||Release date|| ISBN||Chapters|
- Main article: Hokuto no Ken (TV anime)
The manga was adapted into two animated television series produced by Toei Animation. The original series, simply titled Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳), lasted 109 episodes, which aired on Fuji TV from 11 October 1984 to 5 March 1987, adapting the first 136 chapters of the original manga. A sequel series, Hokuto no Ken 2, took over the previous series' time slot and lasted 43 episodes, airing from 12 March 1987 to 18 February 1988, which adapts chapters 137 to 210 (the remainder of the manga was not adapted).
An American-produced live-action movie version of Fist of the North Star was released in 1995, directed by Tony Randel based on a script by Peter Atkins and Wynne McLaughlin. The movie, loosely based on the Shin storyline of the manga, stars Gary Daniels as Kenshiro, Costas Mandylor as Shin and Japanese actress Isako Washio as Yuria, with Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken and Chris Penn as "Jackal" (actually a renamed Jagi). It also featured a cameo by professional wrestler Leon White (then known as Big Van Vader) as Goliath. The movie saw a theatrical release in Japan, but went straight-to-video in the US (though it did receive a premiere on HBO.) The Japanese dubbed version used the original voice actors from the 1980s anime series.
The movie had mixed reviews from fans and critics. Dave Foster of DVD Times panned the movie as a poor adaptation and commented that Kenshiro's pressure point techniques "look rather tame" in comparison to the way depicted in the manga and anime series. A reviewer from eFilmCritic remarked that Kenshiro's defeat at the hands of Shin "comes off as standard" and "unbelievably goofy" compared to the 1986 animated movie version. However, Video World gave a much more positive review, calling it "First rate." It has since been firmly established as a cult film in the west, and remains the film for which Gary Daniels is best known.
New Fist of the North Star
New Fist of the North Star (新・北斗の拳 Shin Hokuto no Ken) is a three-part OVA series produced by Toei Animation that was originally released in 2003 and 2004 in Japan. It is based on an original Hokuto no Ken novel by Buronson and Hara Jubaku no Machi (呪縛の街, "The Cursed City"), whom the first episode of the trilogy draws its title from. It was fully licensed and released in English by ADV Films. Akira Kamiya, who had voiced Kenshiro in all previous animated incarnations, was replaced by Takehito Koyasu for this new OVA series. Celebrity voices were also employed, with musician Gackt (who also performs the opening and ending themes of the OVA) as the antagonist Seiji. It was the last animated incarnation of Hokuto no Ken produced by Toei.
Set sometime after the conclusion of Hokuto no Ken 2 and the original manga, a man named Sanga has constructed a fortified zone called The Last Land. While Sanga's men go out and seek water through violent means, they encounter Kenshiro who desires to end their reign of terror.
The ADV Films' dub of the trilogy has garnered positive reviews from critics. Chris Wood of Toon Zone praised "Kenshiro is in fine form, and though the story may not blow you away, it’s plenty adequate to support the action" Mike Toole of Anime Jump says that New Fist is "flashy and a little cheap, but ultimately rewarding." Chris Beveridge of AnimeOnDVD.com was "very pleased with" the first episode, but felt that the second episode could've been "much better written" and that the third episode was unnecessary and that the trilogy "could have been a lot tighter with a bit more streamlining of the script".
Shin Kyūseishu Densetsu movie series
Raoh Gaiden: Ten no Haoh
A 13-episode TV anime based on the manga by Youkow Osada. A prequel of sorts, it follows the adventures of Raoh prior to the begining of the original manga/anime.
This anime was produced by Nobuhiko Horie, the Shonen Jump editor who oversaw the publication of the original manga, and founding member of Raijin Comics. The anime mostly mirrors the gaiden manga on which it is based, though it includes an additional female character not in the manga.
This anime was licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks. It is distributed in a two-disc boxed set which includes all thirteen subtitled episodes, as well as a subtitled Japanese documentary program giving a behind the scenes look at the anime's creation.
- Main article: List of video games
Several licensed Hokuto no Ken video games have been released in Japan thorought the years. The earliest Hokuto no Ken video game was a 1986 adventure game simply titled Hokuto no Ken, released by Enix for the NEC PC-8801. Toei Animation published many of the early Hokuto no Ken games for Nintendo consoles (Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom). In addition, Sega also published their own Hokuto no Ken action game for the Sega SG-1000 Mark III (which was later remade for the Sony PlayStation 2 under the Sega Ages lineup), along with a sequel, Hokuto no Ken: Shin Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu for the Sega Mega Drive. Two of Toei's Hokuto no Ken games, Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken 2 in Japan) for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe for the Game Boy, were published in North America with the license retained. Both of Sega's Hokuto no Ken games were published outside Japan as Black Belt and Last Battle respectively, with the North Star license and character likenesses removed.
In 1995, Banpresto published an original Hokuto no Ken adventure game for the Sega Saturn featuring an original storyline set sometime after the conclusion of the manga. It was ported to the Sony PlayStation the following year. In 2000, Bandai published a 3D action game for the PlayStation titled Hokuto no Ken: Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu.
In addition to original console games, there has also been Hokuto no Ken arcade games such as Konami's Punch Mania boxing game, a competitive fighting game by Arc System Works (later released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan) and licensed Hokuto no Ken "pachislot" machines (hybrid pachinko and slot machines) and pachinko machines by Sammy (which have inspired video game versions for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Wii). A series of Hokuto no Ken typing games were also made for Microsoft Windows. A Hokuto no Ken Online game is in the works.
The characters of Hokuto no Ken also appeared in two crossover games involving Shōnen Jump characters, 1989's Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden for the Famicom and 2006's Jump Ultimate Stars for Nintendo DS.
Notes and references
- "History of Toei Animation".
- "Ken the great bear fist (TOEI Animation Europe)".
- While the name Hokuto Shinken literally means Big Dipper Divine Fist, the standard translation for the fighting style is the same as its English title, Fist of the North Star. It is also referred as the Sacred Martial Arts of the Great Bear in Viz Media edition and as God Fist of the North Star in the Gutsoon! edition.
- "Shōnen Jump Manga Circulation Numbers" (html). ComiPress. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
- "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime" (html). Anime News Network. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
- "Japan's Favorite TV Anime" (html). Anime News Network. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
- "Interview with Buronson" (html). ADV Films Presents: New Fist of the North Star. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
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- "週刊コミックバンチ★コアミックス：連載作品・作家紹介：天の覇王 北斗の拳 ラオウ外伝" (html) (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-07-29.
- "Amazon.com: 北斗の拳ユリア外伝慈母の星 (ビッグコミックススペシャル)" (html) (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-07-29.
- "週刊コミックバンチ★コアミックス：最新号情報と予告" (html) (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-07-29.
- "週刊コミックバンチ★コアミックス：最新号情報と予告" (html) (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-10.
- Like Hokuto, the term Nanto is usually localized in English translations as "South Star" (or "Southern Cross" in the Viz edition, the name of Shin's city). Nanto actually refers to the South Dipper, a Chinese asterism that forms part of Sagittarius. The Fighting Mania arcade game actually alternates between "South Star" and the literal "South Dipper" in translations. The asterism has no relation to the Southern Cross.
- "北斗の拳 全27巻・全巻セット｜原 哲夫／武論尊｜ジャンプコミックス｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "北斗の拳／全15巻｜原 哲夫／武論尊｜愛蔵版コミックス｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "北斗の拳全15巻・全巻セット｜原 哲夫／武論尊｜集英社文庫(コミック版)｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-01.
- "徳間書店 — 徳間書店" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "コアミックス" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "小学館：コミック" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "北斗の拳 原哲夫 : コアミックス - 電子書籍はeBookJapan : マンガ" (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
- "Amazon.com". Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
- Dave Foster. "DVD Times - Fist of the North Star". Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
- ""New Fist of the North Star": My Mind Is Already Blown (Review from Toon Zone)". Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- "Anime Jump review of New Fist of the North Star". Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- "AnimeOnDVD.com >> Disc Reviews >> New Fist of the North Star Vol. #1 (also w/box)". Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- "AnimeOnDVD.com >> Disc Reviews >> New Fist of the North Star Vol. #2". Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- "AnimeOnDVD.com >> Disc Reviews >> New Fist of the North Star Vol. #3". Retrieved on 2007-09-03.
- Official sites
- Shin Kyuseishu Densetsu - Hokuto no Ken official website (Japanese)
- Toei Animation's official Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu: Hokuto no Ken website (Japanese)
- Animax's official Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu: Hokuto no Ken website (Japanese)
- Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden: Ten no Haoh (anime) official website (Japanese)
- Official English subtitled episodes @ Direct2Drive